Agony. Your body trembles, twists, and contorts, the pain forcing your features into a most unnatural configuration, a most uncomfortable position. You try to scream, but the torture is so intense that even your voice is changing; your terrified yells sound frantic and wild, more like the howls of a wounded animal. The difference is so notable that hearing your own screams surprises you and frightens you even more.
The torture continues for several moments. You forget your surroundings, you forget your circumstances, you even forget your own name. The world slowly slips away, and, as far as you can tell, it has ceased to exist. There is only pain, and your desire for it to end.
You try to calm yourself, to convince yourself that, if you can just wait, it will be over soon, that surely this can’t last forever, but there’s no end in sight, and the pain grows more and more unbearable with every passing second.
And then, just as quickly as it had started, it stops. The pain subsides, leaving a dull ache in its wake. Your limbs feel heavy, but your heart rate begins to slow down, relief slowly washing over you. But you know you don’t have time to enjoy your relief; if you stay here, the torture could begin again at any time. You have to fight to free yourself to make sure that doesn’t happen – you have to get out of here.
But as you survey the room, trying to plot your escape, you realize there’s a problem: You don’t know where ‘here’ is. You’ve never seen this room before. It is a complete mystery, as are its shadows, windows, corners and doors. You know this place must serve some purpose, but due to your recent trauma, the only possibility that comes to mind is that it’s some sort of torture chamber, a nightmarish cage. You search your brain for a moment, trying to remember the path you took to get into the room, but it’s no use. You don’t even remember being in this room before now; you remember nothing before the blinding pain.
Bewildered, you make your way across the dark room to the door. You don’t even bother trying the handle, you simply charge into the door, shattering the wood into jagged pieces which tear into your flesh, but you don’t even flinch; after the agony you suffered just a few moments ago, a few cuts are nothing.
Once free from the door’s remains, which are now stained with your blood, you bring yourself into a more upright standing position and look around, finding yourself in a long, narrow hallway. The hallway is completely devoid of light at first, but within seconds a light appears, almost as if on cue. The light shines from a small wooden stick, which you see is held in the hand of a short, chubby man who is standing directly in front of you. His eyes are wide with fear and his arms are outstretched – he clearly wants to keep you from escaping, but you’ll have none of that.
You take a few steps forward, and he begins shouting nonsense at you, sounds you’ve never heard before, a language you didn’t even know existed. “It’s me!” he yells. The look of frustration on his face tells you that he clearly thinks whatever he’s saying is supposed to have an impact on you, but it doesn’t.
As you take a few more steps forward, you begin to wonder who this man is. And it’s then, as you contemplate who this person is, that it hits you: You can’t remember who you are. You can’t remember your name, your childhood, your parents, your friends… nothing. It’s all gone.
Realizing that you’ve forgotten everything makes you angry. You begin to realize that this man, whoever he is, has brought you to this awful place and has tortured you to the point of insanity. Wanting your revenge on him, and realizing that the only way you will recover your memories is if you escape from this place, you step forward and lift a heavy hand to strike him, preparing for the fight of your life.
The small man makes himself even smaller, shrinking away from your hand as much as possible, but you bring your arm down as quickly as you can. And as your arm approaches your victim, the light from the man’s wooden stick falls upon your hand, and you pause, mid-swing, staring down at your hand. Brown fur covers it completely, and sharp claws extend from the ends of your fingers. The sight makes you falter and stumble backwards. You can’t remember anything about your life, but you are certain that, before this moment, you were human. Weren't you?
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